Partial self-contained ADS, signed in full, “George Washington,” 3 x 2.5, dated December 16, 1797. Beginning portion of a larger document reads, in full: “Copy, Deed of Trust, 16th December 1797. From James Welch to George Washington.” Reverse bears an additional 14 full and partial words in Washington’s hand, including “herin,” “demise,” “hereby,” “do in,”and “which.” Beautifully double-matted and framed (so both sides may be viewed) with a color portrait of Washington, a small plaque, and a facsimile signature to an overall size of 13.25 x 21. In fine condition, with just a bit of slight show-through from writing on reverse. A simply beautiful example signed only months after retiring to his Mount Vernon estate—one of the finest we have seen.
After leaving presidential office earlier in 1797, Washington leased four tracts of his land along the Great Kanhawa River to Welch, who agreed to find subtenants willing to settle and make improvements. Despite the arrangement, Welch never paid Washington anything, and later wrote that he was in debt. Most of Washington’s lands were never leased or sold. In his will, Washington listed 23,341 acres on the Great Kanhawa River, of which he said, ‘there is no richer, or more valuable land in all that Region.’ In all, at his death, Washington owned 9,744 acres on the Ohio River and another 27,000 acres of land in Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York, and the Northwest Territory. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.